Subject: Re: History of the NetBSD Foundation
To: Charles M. Hannum <mycroft@MIT.EDU>
From: Charles M. Hannum <mycroft@MIT.EDU>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/02/2006 03:25:37
On Sat, Sep 02, 2006 at 12:54:29AM -0400, Charles M. Hannum wrote:
> The only group with legal standing to ratify them was the old board.  If
> you had actually sat down and worked through the issues, I would have
> signed off on it -- but AFAICT all you did was stonewall.

BTW, that having been said, I have a few philosophical points to make
about the whole mess:

Why the Hell did anyone care if they can vote for the Foundation board?
The purpose of the Foundation was to handle legal and administrative
tasks.  It was never intended to decide what goes in NetBSD.  If you
don't believe me, ask the Wayback Machine:

You mentioned voting on license issues, but in fact nothing substantive
has changed.  The only thing that was even on the plate at the time was
something *I* wanted to do (putting a reference to our contributor list
in the copyright notice).

But hey, pointless churn is de rigeur for NetBSD (cf. whitespace and
function prototypes, among other things).

I kept the Project separate from the Foundation, so that the Project had
options if the Foundation became untenable; that it was organized that
way was a conscious choice on my part.  I did not want the volunteer
group to ever be beholden to a company.  You could have just formed a
new corporation and dumped the Foundation; there was absolutely nothing
preventing that.  I intentionally provided the Project the failsafe
option to walk away, and yet I get accused of being power hungry.  It's

Had I wanted to do a power grab, I could have done exactly the same
things you did -- e.g., revoking root access, making everyone apply for
the positions they'd been doing for years, asserting that TNF==TNP, etc.
-- but I can hardly think of anything more pointless that a silly power
grab.  Except possibly writing this email, because I'm sure the points
will go over many heads.